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Parks & Natural Areas

Tennessee is a rich and varied place with mile-high mountains in the east, the grand Mississippi River in the west and 19,000 miles of sparkling rivers in between. Parks, forests, birding, hunting, camping and water, water everywhere--Tennessee has a mind-boggling array of natural resources.

Investigate the beauty and mystery of Reelfoot, a cypress-filled natural lake in Tennessee's northwest corner, created by a series of earthquakes, where dozens of species of fish and shore and wading birds are harbored, including golden and bald eagles. Grab your binoculars and explore the diversity of habitats, stretching 65 miles alongside the Tennessee River, on Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge which provide ample feeding, nesting and resting areas for 301 bird species. Get spritzed by the highest waterfall in the eastern United States, Fall Creek Falls, laced with cascades, gorges, streams, and lush stands of virgin hardwood timber. Stride a celebrated riverfront greenway, Chattanooga's Riverpark, and cross America's longest pedestrian bridge, the Walnut Street Bridge, spanning the Tennessee River as it flows south-southwest. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the largest national park in the east and America's most visited. A tour of the Smokies, by any means of locomotion, offers panoramic views, tumbling mountain streams, weathered historic buildings and uninterrupted forest stretching to the horizon.

Green Travel Vendor

Betsy Ligon Park and Walking Trail
"Beautiful scenic walking trail along the creek in downtown Erin. Trees line the trail and in the park, many are labled for indentification. Benches are plentiful for your relaxation. A Box Car, Caboose and Railroad Memorial Pavilion are located in the ...more

City:  Erin, TN
Phone:  931-289-5100

Green Travel Vendor

Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park
"Nashville frequently shows off the view from Bicentennial Mall for the entire nation to enjoy; most televised sporting events broadcast the view from the mall, which was designed to preserve the area’s only unobstructed view of the antebellum state capitol building. Built to honor the state’s 200th anniversary in 1996, the park occupies a piece of land that was part of ...more

City:  Nashville, TN
Phone:  615-741-5280

Green Travel Vendor

Big Hill Pond State Park
"With its railroad and Civil War history and 5,000 acres of magnificent timberland and hardwood bottom lands of Cypress Creek and the Tuscumbia River, Big Hill Pond has features of interest to both history buffs and nature lovers. Close to the sites of battles at Davis Bridge and Youngs Bridge engagement where the Confederate Army, withdrawing from Corinth, MS, extricated itself ...more

City:  Pocahontas, TN
Phone:  731-645-7967

Green Travel Vendor

Big Ridge State Park
"This heavily forested, 3,687-acre park lies on the southern shore of Norris Lake. One of five demonstration parks developed by the Tennessee Valley Authority in cooperation with the National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps. The park is named for the rugged, rocky line of ridges that touches at least three counties and is bisected by the Clinch River. ...more

City:  Maynardville, TN
Phone:  800-471-5305

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Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
"The Big South Fork of the Cumberland River passes through 90 miles of scenic gorges and valleys containing a wide range of natural and historic features while offering a wide variety of recreational ...more

City:  Oneida, TN
Phone:  423-286-7275

Green Travel Vendor

Bills-McNeal Historic District
"Some of Bolivar's oldest and most historically significant homes are found in this district. Structures include the McNeal house and the ...more

City:  Bolivar, TN
Phone:  731-658-6554

Green Travel Vendor

Bledsoe's Fort Historic Park
"Eighty-acre park. Includes archaeological site, Isaac Bledsoe's fort c. 1780s. Also features restored log cabin and stone Irish ...more

City:  Castalian Springs, TN
Phone:  615-452-5463

Green Travel Vendor

Blue Bank Fish House & Grill
"Reelfoot Lake is one of the country's most beautiful natural lakes. Blue Bank Resort, on Reelfoot Lake, is the place to stay when you come to Reelfoot. We have a few lodging options to choose from and the cleanest facilities on the lake. . At the Blue Bank Fish House & Grill you'll find the finest seafood and steaks in the ...more

City:  Tiptonville, TN
Phone:  877-258-3226

Green Travel Vendor

Blue Heron Cruises
"You may be surprised at the abundance of nature located just 30 minutes northwest of Nashville. Board our 40’ pontoon boat at Riverbluff Park in Ashland City, Tennessee. Then travel through scenic wildlife refuge area and rural Tennessee countryside, viewing a variety of wild birds and waterfront homes. Eight different cruises are available, from 45 minutes to 3-1/2 ...more

City:  Ashland City, TN
Phone:  (615) 385-7007

Green Travel Vendor

Bolivar Historic District Walking Tour
"Blessed with classic architectural styles running the gamut from Greek Revival to Italianate, Bolivar's historic districts hearken back to a day when nearly fanatical attention to detail could be seen from initial design to the detailed decorative carvings throughout the buildings. The famed Philadelphia-based architect Fletcher Sloan has left his mark of genius through a number of post-bellum homes that ...more

City:  Bolivar, TN
Phone:  (731) 658-6554

Green Travel Vendor

Booker T. Washington State Park
"Officially established as one of two recreational parks for African Americans (the other was T.O. Fuller park in Memphis), Booker T. Washington State Park served all of East Tennessee as well as Middle Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and other outlying areas. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Company 3459 began clearing the land in 1937. The next year, Company 4497, a group ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  423-894-4955

Green Travel Vendor

Bowen Plantation House
"Circa 1787, the Bowen Plantation House is among Tennessee's oldest brick residences. Built by Revolutionary War Veteran, Captain William Bowen and his wife, Mary, the home represents the determination of early settlers to survive on the frontier. The home is located within Moss-Wright ...more

City:  Goodlettsville, TN
Phone:  615-859-3678

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Boyette's Dining Room
"Boyette's at Reelfoot Lake specializes in catfish, country ham and Certified Angus Beef steaks. Tradition and delicious food brings diners back again and again to this top west Tennessee dining favorite. People from all over a four-state area make the drive every week to experience the true flavor of the south. Just make sure you're hungry, because their specialty is ...more

City:  Tiptonville, TN
Phone:  (731) 253-7307

Green Travel Vendor

Britton Lane Civil War Battlefield
"Site of 1862 battle. Restored log cabin used as a hospital on battlefield site. More than 5,000 troops met in ...more

City:  Denmark, TN
Phone:  731-935-2209

Green Travel Vendor

Burgess Falls State Park
"Burgess Falls, one of the first natural areas, is on Tennessee’s Eastern Highland Rim and is noted for its scenic splendor. Sheer bluffs, narrow ridges, rolling water and abundant mixed forest characterize this area. The Falling Water River with its 250-foot drop creates stunning scenic photo opportunities as it overlooks numerous other ...more

City:  Sparta, TN
Phone:  (931) 432-5312

Green Travel Vendor

Andrew Johnson National Historic Site
Site marks the home of the 17th president, who succeeded Lincoln and oversaw Reconstruction. Contains a ...more

City:  Greeneville, TN
Phone:  423-638-3551

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Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers access to the Tennessee portion of the Appalachian Trail, or ...more

City:  Gatlinburg, TN
Phone:  (865) 436-1200

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Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area
The Big South Fork of the Cumberland River passes through 90 miles of scenic gorges and valleys containin ...more

City:  Oneida, TN
Phone:  423-286-7275

Green Travel Vendor

Cedars of Lebanon State Park
Cedars of Lebanon State Park is named for the dense cedar forest that existed in the biblical lands of Le ...more

City:  Lebanon, TN
Phone:  800-713-5180

Green Travel Vendor

Cherokee National Forest
Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest stretches from Chattanooga to Bristol. The 640,000-acre Cherokee ...more

City:  Cleveland, TN
Phone:  (423) 476-9700

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Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge
Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge lies in the Lower Mississippi River floodplain along the Chickasaw Blu ...more

City:  Ripley, TN
Phone:  (731) 635-7621

Green Travel Vendor

Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge
Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge is located four miles east of Dover, in Stewart County, Tennessee, ...more

City:  Dover, TN
Phone:  931-232-7477

Green Travel Vendor

Fort Donelson National Battlefield
The site of the first decisive Union victory of the Civil War. A visitor center explains the importance o ...more

City:  Dover, TN
Phone:  931-232-5706

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Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge
This refuge along the Hatchie River puts wildlife first. A drive around O'Neal Lake features wetland hab ...more

City:  Stanton, TN
Phone:  731-772-0501

Green Travel Vendor

Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge
Wildlife viewing and nature walks available. Hiwassee Refuge is closed from Nov. 1-Feb. 28, except at des ...more

City:  Birchwood, TN
Phone:  800-262-6704

Green Travel Vendor

Kyker Bottoms Refuge
Kyker Bottoms Refuge is a 350-acre area in southern Blount County owned and managed by the Tennessee Wild ...more

City:  Maryville, TN
Phone:  865-856-8691

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Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuge
Lake Isom National Wildlife Refuge was established as an inviolate sanctuary for wintering waterfowl in 1 ...more

City:  Union City, TN
Phone:  731-538-2481

Green Travel Vendor

Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area
Nestled between Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley. Native wildlife abounds as well as a maintained herd of e ...more

City:  Golden Pond, TN
Phone:  800-525-7077

Green Travel Vendor

Laurel-Snow Pocket Wilderness and Buzzard Point
Natural wilderness area with waterfalls, forests, unique rock formations, deep gorges and trails for hiki ...more

City:  Dayton, TN
Phone:  423-566-2229

Green Travel Vendor

Lower Hatchie Wildlife Refuge
Lower Hatchie National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) sits along the lower 17 miles of the Hatchie River in wester ...more

City:  Henning, TN
Phone:  731-738-2296

Green Travel Vendor

Lucius Burch Natural Area
The natural area is a remnant of historic river meanders, bald cypress-water tupelo swamps, bottomland ha ...more

City:  Ellendale, TN
Phone:  901-382-0235

Green Travel Vendor

Manus Road Cedar Glade
Manus Road is a 15-acre natural area in Rutherford County about 10 miles east of Murfreesboro. It support ...more

City:  Rutherford County, TN

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May Prairie
May Prairie boasts one of Tennessee's most diverse plant communities, with more than 300 species, 25 of ...more

City:  Manchester, TN

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Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
Bordering on the mighty Mississippi River, two-thirds of this 13,467-acre park are bottomland hardwood fo ...more

City:  Millington, TN
Phone:  800-471-5293

Green Travel Vendor

Natchez Trace Parkway
The 444-mile Parkway commemorates the "Old" Natchez Trace, beginning as an animal path and progressing ...more

City:  Pasquo, TN
Phone:  800-305-7417

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Obed Wild & Scenic River
Recreation includes whitewater kayaking, canoeing, rock climbing, hiking, fishing and picnicking. A sceni ...more

City:  Wartburg, TN
Phone:  423-346-6294

Green Travel Vendor

Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail follows the Revolutionary War route of Patriot militia m ...more

Phone:  864-936-3477

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Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge
Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1941 to manage the northern third of Reelfoot Lake a ...more

City:  Union City, TN
Phone:  731-538-2481

Green Travel Vendor

Savage Gulf State Natural Area
Savage Gulf, a 15,590-acre natural area, is carved into the western edge of the Cumberland Plateau in Gru ...more

City:  Palmer, TN
Phone:  931-779-3532

Green Travel Vendor

Sequatchie Cave State Natural Area
Sequatchie Cave is a 10-acre, biologically significant, natural area where Owen Spring Branch flows from ...more

City:  Jasper, TN
Phone:  423-942-2552

Green Travel Vendor

Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge
Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife sanctuary with recreational use by the general public. The 31 ...more

City:  Knoxville, TN
Phone:  865-525-9400

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Shiloh National Military Park
Established in 1894 to preserve the scene of the first major battle in the Western theater of the Civil W ...more

City:  Shiloh, TN
Phone:  731-689-5696

Green Travel Vendor

Short Springs Natural Area
Beautiful, peaceful nature preserve with wildlife and walking trails located on the edge of the city. ...more

City:  Tullahoma, TN
Phone:  931-455-5497

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Stillhouse Hollow Falls State Natural Area
Stillhouse Hollow Falls is a 90-acre state natural area named for its most significant feature, 75-feet S ...more

City:  Summertown, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Stinging Fork Pocket Wilderness
Natural wilderness area with forests, unique rock formations, deep gorges and trails for hiking. ...more

City:  Spring City, TN
Phone:  423-566-2229

Green Travel Vendor

Stones River National Battlefield
The Battle of Stones River was one of the bloodiest and most significant battles of the Civil War. ...more

City:  Murfreesboro, TN
Phone:  615-893-9501

Green Travel Vendor

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge
Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge has more than 50,000 acres on Kentucky Lake in Northwest Tennessee and ...more

City:  Paris, TN
Phone:  731-642-2091

Green Travel Vendor

Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge
Nature walks, lakeside areas, open horseback riding, hunting, boat ramps, migratory bird sanctuary, eagle ...more

City:  Camden, TN
Phone:  800-225-7469

Green Travel Vendor

The Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area
Partners with organizations and individuals across the state to tell the whole story of America's greate ...more

City:  Murfreesboro, TN
Phone:  615-898-2947

Green Travel Vendor

Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail commemorates the removal of the Cherokee and the paths that 17 ...more

City:  Multi-city, TN
Phone:  (505) 988-6888

Green Travel Vendor

Twin Arches State Natural Area
Twin Arches state natural area is approximately 1,500 acres located in parts of Fentress, Scott, and Pick ...more

City:  Oneida, TN
Phone:  865-569-9778

Green Travel Vendor

Virgin Falls Pocket Wilderness Area
Trail features a 317-acre natural area, 110-foot falls, two lesser falls and cave, eight mile round trip, ...more

City:  Sparta, TN
Phone:  931-836-3552

Green Travel Vendor

Walker Branch Natural Area
Walker Branch is a 225-acre natural area located just miles south of Savannah in Hardin County. The prope ...more

City:  Pittsburg Landing, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Walls of Jericho
The Walls of Jericho is a 750-acre natural area that is within the 8,943-acre Bear Hollow Mountain Wildli ...more

City:  Pitcher Ridge, TN
Phone:  (615) 532-0431

Green Travel Vendor

Walterhill Floodplain
Walterhill Floodplain State Natural Area is a 34-acre natural area located in Rutherford County. It is un ...more

City:  Walterhill, TN
Phone:  615-898-2523

Green Travel Vendor

Washmorgan Hollow
Washmorgan Hollow, a sheltered ravine on the Eastern Highland Rim in Jackson County, is an excellent habi ...more

City:  Gainesboro, TN
Phone:  (615) 383-9909

Green Travel Vendor

Watauga River
Watauga River Bluffs is a 50-acre natural area located in Carter County along the Watauga River. Its most ...more

City:  Johnson City, TN
Phone:  (800) 238-2264

Green Travel Vendor

William B. Clark Conservation Area
William B. Clark Conservation Area is a 460-acre natural area along the Wolf River in Fayette County loca ...more

City:  Rossville, TN
Phone:  731-512-1369

Green Travel Vendor

William R. Davenport Refuge
William Davenport Refuge is 120-acre natural area located in Polk County. It was named after the previous ...more

City:  Ducktown, TN
Phone:  931-484-9571

Green Travel Vendor

Sunk Lake
Sunk Lake supports excellent examples of bald cypress swamp, bottomland hardwood forest, and emergent marsh aquatic habitat. The diversity of wetland and upland communities offer a wide range of habitat for waterfowl and other birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians and rare plant species ...more

City:  Lauderdale, TN

Green Travel Vendor

Birdsong Resort, Marina & Lakeside RV & Tent Campground
"Boat rentals, bait and tackle, cottages, campground, guide service, guided lake tours and freshwater pearl farm tours by ...more

City:  Camden, TN
Phone:  731-584-7880

Green Travel Vendor

Blackberry Farm and Farmhouse Spa
"On a 4,200-acre estate in the foothills of Tennessee's Smoky Mountains, Blackberry Farm is one of the South's most celebrated country inns. Those in the know commend its exquisite location, first-rate service and delicious food. (The inn produces its own cheese, eggs, honey, vegetables and fruit for its guests.) The property's two ponds and stream beckon anglers who travel here ...more

City:  Walland, TN
Phone:  800-273-6004

Green Travel Vendor

Blue Bank Fish House & Grill
"Reelfoot Lake is one of the country's most beautiful natural lakes. Blue Bank Resort, on Reelfoot Lake, is the place to stay when you come to Reelfoot. We have a few lodging options to choose from and the cleanest facilities on the lake. . At the Blue Bank Fish House & Grill you'll find the finest seafood and steaks in the ...more

City:  Tiptonville, TN
Phone:  877-258-3226

Green Travel Vendor

Blue Bank Resort
"We welcome you to the finest resort on Reelfoot Lake. If you're looking for the best place to stay on Reelfoot Lake, look no further. Or better yet go ahead and search, we know you'll find when it comes to lodging, fine dining, clean, affordable facilities, and fishing and hunting...there's no better outfitter on Reelfoot Lake. Feel free to browse ...more

City:  Hornbeak, TN
Phone:  (877) 258-3226

Green Travel Vendor

Blue Heron Cruises
"You may be surprised at the abundance of nature located just 30 minutes northwest of Nashville. Board our 40’ pontoon boat at Riverbluff Park in Ashland City, Tennessee. Then travel through scenic wildlife refuge area and rural Tennessee countryside, viewing a variety of wild birds and waterfront homes. Eight different cruises are available, from 45 minutes to 3-1/2 ...more

City:  Ashland City, TN
Phone:  (615) 385-7007

Green Travel Vendor

Blue Moon Cruises
"Eco-Cruises through the Tennessee River Gorge and Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge on the Tennessee. Get up close and personal with all the wonderful birds and wildlife while experiencing the history of the Cherokee Nation and its importance to our region. All cruises come with a full bar-b-q meal and a friendly crew. Trip run ...more

City:  Chattanooga, TN
Phone:  888-993-2583

Green Travel Vendor

Blue Springs Marina
"Offering 260 wet slips, 84 dry storage. Gas and diesel. Full-service boat yard with repairs, seasonal restaurant and boat ...more

City:  Ten Mile, TN
Phone:  866-376-7298

Green Travel Vendor

Bowie Nature Park
"722-acre nature park with 12 miles of trails. Nature center has nature exhibits, a discovery room and the Bowie Museum. Joann's outdoor classroom, covered picnic shelters, barbeque grills, two playgrounds, picnic tables, five lakes ...more

City:  Fairview, TN
Phone:  615-799-5544

Green Travel Vendor

Briarwood Ranch Safari Park
"Our safari features animals from around the world. On your scenic, four-mile safari through beautiful hills and pasture lands, you will experience animals from six continents. Take plenty of time to study their behavior from the safety of your own car. Be sure to bring your camera. You may want to ride on tractor pulled wagons or enjoy a lazy ...more

City:  Bybee, TN
Phone:  865-919-5072

Green Travel Vendor

Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness
"Bridgestone/Firestone gift of 10,000-acre is a TWRA Wildlife Management Area in historic Scott's Gulf. Waterfalls, 26 mile hiking trail, bluffs overlooking Caney Fork River Gorge and 9 primitive backpacking campgrounds. Adjacent to Virgin Falls ...more

City:  Sparta, TN
Phone:  (931) 836-3552

Green Travel Vendor

Brimstone Recreation
"Brimstone Recreation, LLC manages and promotes the recreational use of over 45,000 acres nestled in the remote wilds of Northeast Tennessee and located in the Heart of Appalachia. We offer outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to explore the untamed wilderness of the Appalachian Mountains while enjoying a wide array of recreational activities such as: ATV riding, hunting and fishing, horseback ...more

City:  Huntsville, TN
Phone:  800-BRIMSTONE

Green Travel Vendor

Buffalo River Trail Ride
"Campsites with or without electrical hook-ups, modern bath houses and miles of picturesque trails. Relaxing, peaceful camping and ...more

City:  Waynesboro, TN
Phone:  877-654-3164

Green Travel Vendor

Cades Cove Heritage Tours
"Purchase tickets online, over the phone, or in ...more

City:  Townsend, TN
Phone:  865-448-8838

Green Travel Vendor

Caney Creek Marina
"Upscale marina with ship's store, grill, gas pumps, holding tank pump-outs on every dock, pontoon boat rentals, covered and uncovered slips available year 'round. Electric, water, cable, and phone available in each slip. TN River MM ...more

City:  Harriman, TN
Phone:  865-882-4042

Green Travel Vendor

Cedar Creek Iron Furnace
"The only remaining "double stack" furnace in the western rim of Tennessee, which ceased operation during the Civil War. The location is now a ...more

City:  Linden, TN
Phone:  931-589-2453

Upcoming events

Date: Aug 27, 2014 - Sep 6, 2014
76th Annual TN Walking Horse Nat'l Celebration
Location: Shelbyville, TN

Date: Sep 6, 2014 - Sep 7, 2014
23rd Annual
Location: Vonore, TN

See more September events »

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